MENARA ALOR SETAR

Salah satu mercu tanda yang terdapat di Bandaraya Alor Setar ialah Menara Alor Setar yang terletak di persimpangan Lebuhraya Darulaman dan Jalan Telok Wan Jah. Ia merupakan sebuah menara pemancar telekomunikasi milik Telekom Malaysia. Menara Alor Setar setinggi 165.6 meter (541 kaki) merupakan menara kedua tertinggi di Malaysia dan kesembilanbelas di dunia.

Menara Alor setar telah disempurnakan perasmannya oleh YAB Dato’ seri Dr Mahathir Mohammad, Perdana Menteri Malaysia pada 10 Rabiul Akhir 1418 bersamaan 14 Ogos 1997.

Beberapa fakta mengenai Menara Alor Setar:

Pembinaannya adalah sama kaedah dengan pembinaan Menara Kuala Lumpur dimana 5 tiangnya dibina menggunakan ‘Self Climbing Jumpform’

Para pelawat boleh naik ke ‘viewing gallery’ yang terletak pada aras 88 meter dan boleh memuatkan seramai 100 orang pada satu-satu masa. Terdapat dua buah lif bercermin lutsinar yang membawa pelawat naik dan turun sambil menikmati pemandangan sekitar. Pada aras setinggi 94 meter pula terdapat sebuah restoran berputar di mana pelanggan boleh menjamu selera sambil menikmati pemandangan sekitar Bandaraya. Restoran ini boleh memuatkan seramai 200 hingga 250 orang dan kadar putarannya ialah selama satu jam bagi satu putaran.  Lain-lain kemudahan yang terdapat:

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Semasa berada di aras tinjauan beberapa pemandangan menarik sekitar Bandaraya Alor Setar boleh dilihat, misalnya Pusat Bandaraya Alor Setar

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atau dataran sawah padi dengan Gunung Keriang sebagai latar belakang.

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Mesjid Zahir, Balai Nobat dan Dataran Setar.

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Jika anda ingin menikmati pemandangan dengan lebih jelas, bolehlah bawa teropong atau anda boleh menggunakan kemudahan teropong yang disediakan.

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Jika anda melawat Bandaraya Alor setar jangan melepaskan peluang untuk menaiki menara ini untuk melihat dataran sekitar Bandaraya yang rata yang mendapat gelaran Periuk Nasi Malaysia, kerana keluasan kawasan sawahnya dan pengeluar beras terbesar negara. Tiket untuk menaiki menara ini ialah seperti berikut:

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Sekiranya anda ingin menikmati makanan secara ekslusif bersama keluarga, sahabat handai, klien atau kekasih, bolehlah membuat tempahan untuk ke Restoran Seri Angkasa yang terletak pada aras 94 meter. Terdapat kaunter khidmat pelanggannya di kawasan podium.

menara AS (48)  Selepas berada di atas menara, pelawat juga boleh bersantai di kawasan Taman yang disediakan dengan kemudahan permainan kanak-kanak. Memandangkan ini kawasan awam, pelawat kenalah menjaga tata susila dan adab sopan kerana

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Alor Setar- The Rice Bowl Capital

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Alor Setar is the capital of the state of Kedah. The name derived from the activities concentrated on a small river tributaries which in Malay named as Alor. At the place there are Setar trees hence the combination of both names give the place her name Alor Setar. Its difficult to find the Setar tree nowadays. Back in 1982, the Sultan of Kedah Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah planted the Setar tree at the town square opposite the Mesjid Zahir to commemorate the opening of the square and to symbolically represent the name of the town. But since the actual tree planted by the Sultan did not grow as expected and a replacement tree was planted. I took the picture of the actual tree a few days after it was planted but not sure where the album is after I transfered and work in Kuala Lumpur.

This monument was erected at the place supposedly where the Alor town was first born.

Monument marking the official declaration of Alor Setar town to city status in 2003. the building in the background is a two unit double storey building with a date on it as 1324. Maybe its one of the oldest building in Alor Setar. The unit on the left house Thean Teik Printer and is still in business. As far as I can remember the printing shop was there and until today.

Monument marking the history of 250 years of Alor Setar in 1985 (1735-1985)

Going to Alor Setar

Alor Setar is accessible by air, road and rail. Malaysian Airlines and Airasia fly daily to the town from Kuala Lumpur. Express buses also ply from Kuala Lumpur daily. From Penang one can go to Alor Setar on Transnasional and the service is povided hourly from morning till night. KTMB also connect the city to Kuala Lumpur.

The city centre revolves around the Setar Walk where Holiday Inn is situated. The hotel is on the same building of City Plaza, the most popular shopping centre in the city. Staying at The Holiday Inn , one can have easy access to the popular Pekan Rabu for local and traditional foodstuffs. A walking distance away around the Hotel are banks including Maybank, Bank Simpanan Nasional, RHB and CIMB. The Railway station is also situated just about 5oo metres away.

What you can do in Alor Setar?
Pekan Rabu is one place tourist must not miss. Mesjid Zahir, Balai nobat (where nobat musical instruments are kept) Clock tower, Balai Besar are all situated at the same location. Don’t forget the Menara Alor Setar for a birds eyeview of the city and on a clear day one can even see the Straits of Malacca. From a top the tower you can see the breathtaking view of the Kedah plain and know why it is called the Rice bowl of Malaysia.

What else?

Go to duty free island of Langkawi and travel into the legend of Mahsuri. The highest peak in Kedah is Gunung Jerai (1200 m) and feel some adventure going to the top. At the foot of the mountain on the south is Lembah Bujang, a historical site where it is believed the first Hindu settlement started. So if you are into history, do not miss this valley.

Shopping will usually be on ones itenary and if you want to buy football jerseys of any popular soccer team in the world or corporate uniforms of the F1 teams, drive up to the border town of Bukit Kayu Hitam, about an hour away using the PLUS Highway. Of course its not the original but imported from over the border and ad a glance nobody will say its imitation. Oh, you want to buy imititation apparels? Hmmmmm…..its individual taste and preference. Theres also a Duty Free complex at Bukit Kayu Hitam. See the online album here

Wan Mat Saman Canal -Kedah

The Wan Mat Saman Canal use to be an important waterway from Gunung Jerai to Sungai Kedah in Alor Setar. Of course it is not as popular as the Panama Canal or the St Lawrence Seaway in North America but it has contributed to part of the development of the Kedah plain especially along the canal and for irrigation of the paddy land.
The canal or aquaduct was built in 1885 and named after Wan Mat Saman who was the Menteri Besar or Prime Minister of the Sultanate of Kedah during the reigns of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Syah and Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Syah.

According to my history teacher, the canal was mainly built at night because they can use gasoline lamp lined up in a straight row as a guide so that the canal is dug straight. If you travel along the Federal route 1 from Guar Cempedak to Alor Setar, you will realise that it runs parallel to the canal and the road is almost straight all the way.

However today the canal is in a neglected state and turned into monsoon drain and dumped with rubbish by irresponsible people.

However upon reaching the Alor Setar city, you can see that the canal has been ‘modified’ by constructing concrete walls which can turn the canal into something beautiful if the City Council of Alor Setar were to maintain its cleanliness.